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The Island of Pico in the Azores

The Island of Pico is the second largest in the Azores and one that is home to Portugal’s highest mountain (2351m), also called Pico. DSC08339 It takes 30 minutes by ferry to go from Horta to Madalena on Pico. DSC08361 From Madalena, we took the Vinhas da Criacao Velha trail. The trail passes through the Landscape of the Pico Island Vineyard Culture, which was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage Site List in 2004. DSC08477 The island is famous for its wine – both red and white. And on Pico, vines grow from lava soil!!! DSC08508 Pictured below are the walls that were built to protect the vines from sea breezes. They are about 1m high. DSC08515 DSC08528 This is one of the reconstructed windmills on the island. If you climb up, you will have the most stunning view over the vineyards, the coast and the island of Faial. DSC08535 We also passed by some extraordinary black stone houses. I was especially impressed by their black gardens. DSC08743

Pico (the volcano) was there to welcome us when we arrived but then it spent the rest of the day hiding in the clouds. DSC08548 This cow was having a nice afternoon rest and I really liked its color. DSC08655 These are just some of the flowers that we saw along the way.

And the coast… such a wild coast… DSC08642 I wanted to explore this street but then we had to hitchhike back to Madalena. Hitchhiking is a common way of traveling around the Azores. DSC08811 We had a quick coffee next to this magnificent villa and then it was time to return to Faial. DSC08826 This ferry took us back to Horta. Luckily for our stomachs, the ocean wasn’t too rough… DSC08840

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